Ever wondered why Steve Jobs wore the exact same thing every day? It was to combat decision fatigue. What does that have to do with you? Have a view.
To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.
Get Yourself a Journal: It took a lot of willpower, but about six months ago I discovered something that I want to share with you today called the Sidekick Journal from a company called Habit Nest. The journal that I chose to use was the one focused on morning routines called the Morning Sidekick Journal.
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“I got everything on my to-do list done today,” said no business or restaurant owner ever! Today, I am going to share with you how we can fix that.
I’ve got kind of an interesting question for you: Have you ever wondered why Steve Jobs wore the exact same thing every day: a black t-shirt and jeans? The reason is because of something called decision fatigue. The theory behind decision fatigue is that we have to make so many decisions every day that one less decision (like deciding what to wear today) gives you the energy to make one more business critical decision.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook wears a grey shirt and a blue hoodie every day? The funny thing is I used to do this too. When I was operating 4 restaurants, I was the busiest I’d ever been in my life. My shirt drawer had about 20 or 25 white t-shirts and my closet had about five or six identical pairs of chef’s pants hanging in it. That was pretty much my entire wardrobe.
The only thing I did when I got to work was put on an apron. My wardrobe never changed…it didn’t matter what I was doing that day or who I was meeting with. I don’t know why I did this, but I naturally did it. What’s interesting is when I started working with coaches to dramatically improve my life and business, I learned about decision fatigue.
That’s what got me thinking about Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and all these other hugely successful people and how they wear kind of the same things. They live kind of boring lives outside of their work, eat the same things a lot, go to the same restaurants and it started to make sense to me. Decision fatigue!
Set up your routines:
My coach and I started working on other ways we can incorporate things like this into our life, things we called routines. Every day I started to basically eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch. My wife and I would plan meals at home a week or two in advance so there were less decisions to make in the moment, which really freed me up to get more done.
We took it a step further and we incorporated these routines into my daily, weekly, quarterly, monthly, or yearly lives. I had a basic Monday routine, Tuesday routine, etc. I did a set of things daily and we put them into a schedule.
What I want you to think about is: What kind of routines do you have in your life or in your work to avoid needing to make decisions? We got to a point where I had a morning routine, evening routine, and a midday energy routine – a 10 minute thing that I did every day before dinner service started because I could feel my energy level dropping.
I can tell you the most important routine and the hardest routine to get into place was the morning routine. I’m not going to bore you with the details of what my morning routine was because I kind of made it up myself. It was very effective, but it was very complex and it was very hard for me to get going. Yours doesn’t have to be!
Get Yourself a Journal:
It took a lot of willpower, but about six months ago I discovered something that I want to share with you today called the Sidekick Journal from a company called Habit Nest. The journal that I chose to use was the one focused on morning routines called the Morning Sidekick Journal.
I can tell you from experience that if you’re struggling with any kind of routines or with getting everything that you want to get done in a day, it starts with a great morning routine. If you get off to a great start in the morning, you’re going to come into work more motivated. You’re gonna get more done, become more regimented, and that’s going to lead to a great midday routine, to better eating, better energy levels, and better decision-making that’s going to carry all the way through. But it all starts in the morning! The problem most people have with morning routines is that we’re tired, groggy, and have the least amount of energy because we haven’t really gotten moving yet. This makes our decision-making cloudy.
What I love about my Morning Sidekick Journal is that spells everything out for you: what to do every day and how to build those routines. They say it takes about three to four weeks to create a habit or to build a routine, but this baby will be with you for 66 days and I love the honesty in the descriptions in this journal. It calls the first week “hell week” because they know how hard it is to break your old habits and they break it down for you really really small. If it’s something that you’re interested in, check out Habit Nest to grab a Morning Sidekick Journal for yourself.
Summing it up:
One of the most important things you can do is create routines that help you avoid decision fatigue. Try picking out your wardrobe ahead of time, even if it’s just a day. Before you go to sleep, pick out what you’re going to wear tomorrow. Plan your meals for the week. If you know that you’re going to go out on a date with your wife on a Tuesday night, pick the restaurant ahead of time and make the reservation. It’s one less decision you have to make when you’re tired and it’ll lead to better decisions in the long run.
Create a great morning, mid-day, evening, weekly, or even monthly routines. Schedule this stuff by putting it into your calendar so when it comes time to do it you don’t have to think about what you should be doing. If you’re struggling with getting things done, routines are going to dramatically help you.
Another thing that will dramatically help you is to audit your time. Measure in a week how much time it takes to get “tasks” done and then measure for a week how efficient you were in doing it. I just went through this with a client – he had 14 free hours in his week, hours that were free from the day-to-day grind of running the restaurant. When he audited it, he found he was only working 5 to 6 of those 14 hours where things get done. So we’ve been putting more routines into his life and we’re already seeing that efficiency go up.
I can tell you that when I was at my busiest, I was getting the most done because I got so good at routines. So build some routines into your life. Wear a black shirt and jeans or a white shirt and chef pants to work every day – it’s one less decision you have to make. Pick up your Morning Sidekick Journal and go out and crush it this week.
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